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Headteacher to return to school after being cleared of sexual offence claims

Andrew Howard, headteacher of Velmead Junior School in Fleet, will return to his post in January following a lengthy suspension as a result of the allegations

Andrew Howard will return to Velmead

A headteacher will return to his primary school after being suspended and later cleared of sexual activity with a teenage boy.

It took a jury at Winchester Crown Court less than an hour to clear Andrew Howard, the suspended head of Velmead Junior School in Fleet, who had denied two counts of sexual activity with a child under 16.

After the jury returned their verdict on October 8, judge Andrew Barnett told the 46-year-old that he could leave court “without a stain on your character”.

Mr Howard, from Chineham, was suspended at Easter as a result of the allegations and remained so after the not guilty verdict in accordance with Hampshire County Council procedures. A review of the situation was then carried out to decide whether a return to work was appropriate.

On Friday (December 20) letters from the governors arrived with parents, announcing that Mr Howard will come back to the school in January.

A spokesman for the council confirmed his suspension had been lifted and that he will return to his duties in early January, with exact arrangements to be finalised.

The letter paid tribute to acting head Sue Runciman and said Mr Howard was really pleased to be returning to work.

It comes after parents started a petition to see Mr Howard returned to his post.



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